The Metropolitan Riveters home opener at the Prudential Center on Saturday, Oct. 20, was a special game for the 2018 Isobel Cup champions, and not just because of the team’s banner raising ceremony.
The Riveters hosted a group of five female students from Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey, with many of the girls in attendance watching their first hockey game.
The students were able to attend the Riveters’ home opener thanks to the NWHL Ticket Ambassador program, a program that allows groups or organizations in the community to attend an NWHL game when they typically would not have the opportunity to do so. Those who sign up to be an NWHL ticket ambassador donate their tickets to these groups so they can still support their favorite NWHL team if the ticket ambassador can’t make it.
“I am considering playing ice hockey, if I ever get a chance,” said Stephanie Ruiz, a sixth-grade student at Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School. “When I lived in Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to go with a friend to watch a girl’s high school hockey game. I really enjoyed it.”
The students were ecstatic about the opportunity to watch professional female athletes play after learning about the National Women’s Hockey League from their teacher, Nicole Morgan-Lewis. Morgan-Lewis had the opportunity to hear NWHL Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan speak at a recent women’s conference with her daughter, saying it was “an honor” to be in the company of Rylan and other inspiring women. Morgan-Lewis says Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School always supports its female students and encourages them to chase their dreams.
“Dr. George Washington Carver [Elementary] School has several mentoring and afterschool programs to support the interest, academic and social needs of our students,” said Morgan-Lewis. “Each year we have an event called Picture Me Tomorrow, where we encourage girls to dress up as a professional in that [career] field. We also have professional women come out and speak to our students about working in a field where women are in the minority.”
The trip to the Riveters game was another opportunity to show her students something new and inspiring.
“Our girls [were able] to experience something that they had never experienced before,” added Morgan-Lewis. “They couldn’t believe our team was the champions. The girls were so inspired that they would like to learn to ice skate. They couldn’t believe how much talent the players had.”
The NWHL is always accepting new ticket ambassadors, if you would like to give back to your community and show your support to a NWHL team, you can sign up for the Ticket Ambassador program.